By Will Peterson
A pot of spaghetti was on the stove in the Rohn Checkpoint cabin when teams started arriving Monday evening. The first two teams to arrive decided to stay, not necessarily for the dinner. The third team stayed less than 20 minutes. Robert Bundtzen was first to arrive, checking in at 5:17 with 16 dogs. He asked for long term parking which is assumed to be for a 4-6 hour rest. Bundtzen had 16 good looking dogs. Paul Gephardt was next at 5:44, Paul was carrying a dog in his sled. Paul started carrying the dog before climbing up to Rainy Pass, he packed the dog for about 30 miles. Paul pulled in to long term parking also.
Lance Mackey was right behind Gephardt, a minute later. Mackey wasn’t stopping for dinner. He wanted short term parking and stayed just 16 minutes. Mackey was carrying a dog as well. The Golden Harness Award winner Maple, his main leader, was dropped. Mackey said he remembers dropping Hobo, a former champion leader, at this same checkpoint 3 years ago; he won that race without Hobo. He didn’t seem too concerned. Mackey did the paper work, left the dog in the care of one of the seven vets here, grabbed half a bale of straw and some dog food and left Rohn heading out on the trail to Nikolai.
Ray Redington was the next team in at 5:55 followed by Neff at 6:07 and then Buser at 6:09. Neff left after24 minutes at Rohn.
Things you might want to know….
- Mackey left the previous checkpoint 25 minutes behind Gephardt, he picked up 24 minutes in a 38-40- mile run.
- Mackey was 18 minutes ahead of Neff when he left Rainy, he was 22 minutes ahead when he arrived here at Rohn and then left with a 29 minute lead.
- Buser’s team got into a tangle with Newton Marshall on a narrow trail on the way to Rainy Pass earlier today. Buser let loose 6 of the dogs to make it easier to untangle the team. 5 of the dogs bolted. Buser arrived in the checkpoint with 5 of his dogs missing. Two of them came trotting into the checkpoint a few minutes later, the other 3 were brought in to the checkpoint by Ken Anderson. No dogs were injured. Buser put the dogs back in the team and checked out.
- Rick Swenson broke his collarbone when he barrel rolled his sled coming down the Steps. Swenson was taped up in the checkpoint and decided to travel over to Rohn to see if he can take the bouncing of sled and if he is able to safely drive the team and take care of the dogs for the next 800 miles to Nome.
* Sent via email from Rohn to Millennium HQ to be posted.